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Swift Engineering 020

United States (2019)
Picture of Swift Engineering 020 Tail-Sitting VTOL Small Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS)

The Swift 020 UAV is unique in that it launches and lands from a tail-sitting position.

Detailing the development and operational history of the Swift Engineering 020 Tail-Sitting VTOL Small Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS).

 Entry last updated on 3/8/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©

Tail-sitting drones are becoming a common sight in the world of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for the important inherent capabilities offered. They can launch and land vertically while being able to travel horizontally, combining the best qualities of a rotary-based platform with that of a fixed-wing product. Swift Engineering, Incorporated has developed such a system through its Model 020.

Key qualities of the Model 020 are its all-electric drive and Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) capabilities. The former means a low-cost, low-emissions system while the latter allows this UAV to operate nearly anywhere. The aircraft has a swappable payload capacity of up to 1 kilogram and can fly for two hours up to 75 miles at altitudes of 400 feet. The Model 020 takes off vertically and can easily and quickly transition to horizontal flight - allowing it to operate in urban environments free of the requirement (and restrictions) of prepared runway spaces.
Structurally, the Model 020 exhibits a somewhat unique, yet wholly conventional, straight-wing arrangement. The fuselage is a slim, tubular shape tapered at both ends. At either end of center mass are two-bladed propeller units and each wing leading edge is also home to an additional two-bladed propeller units to help fulfill the VTOL requirement. Aft of each wing-mounted propeller section is a vertical tail fin which adds lateral control. The aircraft comes to rest on a two-legged undercarriage and carries a gimballed High-Definition (HD) camera and InfraRed (IR) camera unit with interchangeable lens as its primary optics fit. Communications is through a satellite link.

Power to the aircraft is all-electric and it can operate in all basic environments under full autonomy. The ground control system is a portable mobile unit, allowing for quick setup and takedown in-the-field - just 10 minutes is all that is needed - and the complete system breaks down into eight smaller components for transport. The Model 020 ships in two hard cases for maximum protection.

Beyond its obvious military applications, the Model 020 is marketed as suitable for the agricultural, parcel delivery, emergency services, humanitarian assistance, survey, maritime (coast guard, Search and Rescue) and research industries - such is its versatility.

Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 100mph
Lo: 50mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (52mph).

    Graph average of 75 miles-per-hour.
Relative Operational Ranges
Graph showcases the Swift Engineering Model 020's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era Impact
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Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

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Swift Engineering Model 020 Specifications
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United States
Year: 2019
Status: In-Development
Type: Tail-Sitting VTOL Small Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS)
Manufacturer(s): Swift Engineering - USA
Production: 30
Supported Mission Types
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Airborne Early Warning
Electronic Warfare
Aerial Tanker
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Special Forces
Crew: 0
MTOW: 29 lb (13 kg)

Installed Power
All-electric powerplant driving four two-bladed rotor units, two located at fore and aft on the fuselage and one at each wing leading edge.

Standard Day Performance
Maximum Speed: 52 mph (83 kph; 45 kts)
Maximum Range: 75 mi (120 km; 65 nm)
Service Ceiling: 394 ft (120 m; 0.07 mi)

Variable (changeable) payload capability to serve multiple industry sectors.

Operators List
United States

Series Model Variants
• Model 020 - Base Series Designation

Supported Weapon Systems